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Riwal, King of Brittany
(Born c.AD 472)
(Welsh: Riwal; Latin: Rivoldus; English: Riwald)

Riwal was a younger son of King Budic I of Brittany. After his father's death, he killed his brother, King Meliau, and set his sights on the Breton throne. King Meliau's heir was his young son, Melor. Riwal would have killed him too, but his advisors dissuaded him from his intentions and instead he had the boy's right hand and left foot cut off, making him ineligible for the Throne. Loyal Barons sent Melor to be educated under the Abbot of Quimper, while he was fostered by a lord named Cerialtan. Here he grew up working miracles, not the least of which was the use of a replacement a hand of silver and a foot of bronze as if they were real. He began to ride and fight, and to gather a following against the evil Riwal.

Riwal soon came to hear of the young lad's prowess of arms and recognised the threat. So he called Cerialtan to him and offered him all the land he could see from Mount Coc (Mount Frugy) if he murdered Melor for him. Cerialtan eventally agreed, but his wife fled with the boy to his uncle-by-marriage, King Conomor of Poher. Riwal sent Cerialtan and his son, Justan, after them. Cerialtan decapitated the poor lad in the middle of the night. His own son was killed during their escape however. The father delivered the head to Riwal and climbed Mount Frugy in order to claim his prize, but on reaching the summit he was miraculously struck blind! Riwal did not live long to enjoy his exalted position, for it is said he died soon after touching his nephew's severed head. After his death, some records indicate the throne was claimed by his aging uncle, Erich.

 

    Nash Ford Publishing 2001. All Rights Reserved.